Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Friends! 

Here we are…closing out day 2 of 2013.  Our resolutions have been set and we are back to work…back to “real” life after the holidays.  On FB yesterday, I think my husband said it best, “I’m sort of diggin’ 2013 so far… did some much needed deep cleaning in the living room… had some good daytime fun with Bella… got the Babymoon booked… and am sitting here “stuffed” after a king crab legs dinner (compliments of Robin). Hopefully, this is only the beginning to my best year yet!”  As I read his update, I thought, “Isn’t that what life is all about?  Enjoying a balanced mix of all the big AND little things…like the sense of accomplishment after chores (and the freshness of a deep clean), the simplicity of playing with a child, the excitement of travel, the anticipation of new life, and the occasional indulges…like King Crab for dinner at home.”  I knew I married a smart one…but with each year that passes, I appreciate more and more the depth and heart that goes along with those brains!

As I think about my own resolutions for 2013…or “to-dos” as I like to call them, I realize it has been another 2 months since my last post on Indulge.  This year, instead of resolving again to resume consistent posts, I’m vowing to accept that I can’t.  In fact, I’m ready to accept that I can’t do it all…period.  This isn’t easy for me…but I’m ready to try!  The cooking won’t stop….nor will the entertaining…or the photography…or the blogging…I will just stop beating myself up when I don’t get to “it” as often as I’d like…or quite honestly, as “perfectly” as I’d like.  Between working full-time ( traveling several times a month), striving to be a fully engaged parent, and always remembering that marriage requires time/effort as well, the hours somehow run short.  It’s best I accept this now!  🙂

Whatever your resolutions entail, may you find the perseverance to follow through.  Enjoy the little things…as much as you do the big things.  Live in the moment instead of always looking to the next.  Remember that with each challenge comes an opportunity.  And with each new day…the chance to create another delicious dinner! 

So the next time you are looking for a fabulous recipe…perhaps for your next date-night at home, give this one a try.   We made this recipe for the first time a few months ago and as with any new recipe, I create a list of notes (adaptations, additions, substitutions, etc).  When I came down to the kitchen the next morning, I found my notes had been scribbled all over.  Ryan wrote, “VERY VERY GOOD.  YUM YUM YUM!”  So, as you can imagine, we’ve whipped it up several times since.  🙂

CHICKEN PARMESAN

Adapted from recipes by Giada de Laurentiis and Bon Appetit

Basic Tomato Sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated peeled carrots
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes in juice, crush by hand
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Salt and Pepper
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes.  Add carrots and thyme; sauté until carrots are soft, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes with juice.  Add red wine.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to generous 5 cups, about 1 hour.  Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  DO AHEAD Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly.  Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm sauce before using.

Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons ol
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 small chicken breasts
  • Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe above
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Fresh Basil

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Brush both sides of the chicken breasts with the oil and season with salt and pepper.  Heat a heavy large oven-proof skillet over high heat.  Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove the skillet from the heat.

Spoon the tomato over and around the chicken.  Sprinkle mozzarella over each breast.  Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the chicken.  Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. 

_MG_4999-1

Plate and top with fresh basil.  Serve with a glass of Sangiovese and enjoy! 

(And forgive this photo.  Shooting food in the winter…in a dark kitchen/dining room, isn’t one of my strengths.  If only I could find more time to focus on learning those photography skills!  LOL)

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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